Monday, 31 December 2012

Last Post for 2012 - Looking Ahead to 2013

Hello everyone!  Hope you've all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to 2013!  Isobel has recently returned from her holiday with Philippa (having seen Clare and Alan too) and we both thought we'd include a so far unpublished photograph of me - since some of you may not actually know who I am, and what I do here!

My name is Coldham Yogi - Cy Bear to my friends and I'm Mascot and Co-Author to the ColdhamCuddlies

 Isobel has asked me to write this post - as she’s been blown away by what happened just before she left for High Wycombe and the Christmas celebrations, while she was making one of her daily visits to our Etsy Shop  (   

It all started with a notification on the Etsy Activity Site, that she’d been added to  a certain Joel Barnett’s  Etsy Circle, when she was checking out her emails.  When that happens, Isobel ALWAYS returns the favour, and makes sure the person(s) know it’s happened by dropping them a short line - or two… or three!  So this particular encounter  began with Isobel responding to Joel in a convo, saying :

“Just dropping by to tell you that I've returned the favour you paid me by adding ColdhamCuddlies, via me, to your Circle! Good to know you, and I look forward to getting to know you and your daughters even better as time goes by!

Now you've discovered us, perhaps you'd be interested in visiting my blog at where I post about the toys I make, mend and otherwise create (some folks might say "play with"!) We'd love to see you there, and if you'd like to follow us and comment too, that would be tremendous.

Hope preparations for the upcoming Holidays are going well! All the best to you all.”

(Isobel was brought up to always say “thank you” if anyone helps her - and she continues to do so whether she’s on Etsy or this blog).  I try to do the same as well, so am taking this opportunity to thank Joel (and everyone else who has done so during 2012) for being prepared to help Isobel navigate her way around Etsy, Blogger and everything else she does on the internet;   as well as being there for her after her husband, Peter, died in May.

Now this all took place on a Friday afternoon, about two weeks ago.  So judging by Joel’s location (his Etsy Profile says he lives in Boisie, Idaho), we estimate that he must have just switched on his computer (actually, he's probably got a tablet or some such technical device!) and was having a look-see at what had happened over night/during the day.  Being only a Beaver Lamb Bear, my geographical knowledge of anywhere is sketchy, but Isobel believes that Idaho is in the middle of the American Continent.  She admits that her geographical memory of the United States of America has always been hazy - but she  thinks that mid afternoon in the UK would make it early-ish morning in Idaho - right?

(Isobel here!  At one time, I could draw the great Mississippi river from source to basin, and similarly the Missouri too.  My Geography mistress, who had many years’ experience of questions set in UK national exams, always made sure her pupils knew these two.  Her other “dead cert” were  the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.  While, I might still make a good stab at this one, alas, the two rivers would not fare so well with my current map-sketching skills.)

To return to the subject of this blog:  while Isobel was still checking her Etsy Activity list (she had finished her e-mails by then), she got a notification of a new Conversation, so went to see from whom it emanated:  this is what awaited her.  It was  from Joel, himself - as opposed to via Etsy!


I had to look at your shop from your nice letter and when I did I was absolutely amazed, you have some absolutely amazing stuffed animal Cuddlies. I went ahead and favorited all of your items to my over 1000 followers here on Etsy. Your store deserves way more sales. They are truly adorable.

Here is my piece of advice that I know will really help your store, if you can get a photographer to take some shots of your Cuddlies and get some really good shots in lighting and with scenes and such you can definitely become a hit, I truly believe that. I think there is some photographers on Etsy that you send your products to and they take stunning photos, email you them, and send your products back to you. I would do a search for Product Photography and look for the best ones.

That stuffed animal clinic is great, I would change the title to Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic just to really grab peoples attention. The story about the bear from the raffle is great, I love seeing sellers that share personal stories and I know buyers do too.

I want you to succeed, your story is great, with you having arthritis and still making these beautiful creations I truly applaud you. I am inspired.

If there is any way I can help you just say the word, I can do a full shop evaluation for you and help you with SEO, Search Engine Optimization (How People Find You).

I hope your holidays are filled with joy and happiness and I wish you the best in all of your future sales and travels.

To which Isobel immediately responded:

Hello again Joel!

Wow, what an offer! Yes, I will take you up on your helpful suggestions, but may we leave it until after Christmas, which this year is being spent away from base by me.

Think you just might be the Christmas present I’ve been looking for: a saviour to guide me around this mystery called social media/internet selling/ SEO's etc. et al. Hope you don't regret your offer to assist - my family (
and friends - I’ve just added this bit:  Cy Bear)  tend to regard me as a dangerous silver surfer: one who clicks on things, without realising the consequences, and then spends time trying to put things right!

Have a great Christmas, and I'll be back in the New Year (sometime after Jan.3).

Thanks again.

Isobel Morrell

The almost immediate response was:  (Isn’t technology wonderful - when it works?)


I meant every word I said and I stand behind my word to help you in any way that I can. I regret nothing that I said and I look forward to your return in January.

See you then.”

The conversation ended with this response from Isobel:

Fair enough! You look and sound a Big Boy! On your head be it!

As I said, I'm deeply grateful - and look forward to learning a great deal!

Facetiousness aside, we’re both very moved by, and happy to accept, this wonderful offer of help.  Isobel will definitely be considering all his suggestions (some may just not be viable at this point in time) but I’m sure they will be able work together to great effect.

 Incidentally, we’ve already acted on one of his first suggestions - the Soft Toy Clinic title has been changed already to the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).

Just wish us (and the ColdhamCuddlies family) luck!  We’re just so excited!  Happy New Year everyone!  Cy Bear

PS:  Isobel here:  have joined another Craft site, having received an invitation from Alison Woods of Art of Crafts and today, there's been a purchase via Amazon - which, hopefully, will enable me to take better photographs to illustrate existing and future Cuddlies!  I'm not comfortable with posting my Cuddlies away from home to be photographed, as has been suggested. 

 Meanwhile, I'll be getting back to Joel, as promised (or threatened?) on January 3.  WATCH THIS SPACE!

PPS:  As of today, our viewing figures here at have reached 10,210!!  Thanks so very much for all this support!  

Happy 2013 to you all - and may you receive all you wish for yourselves (and some nice ones you didn't)!  Isobel